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Harmonix: We Will Continue to Invest in Rock Band

Despite Activision dissolving the Guitar Hero franchise earlier this week, newly independent Rock Band developer Harmonix says it will continue to invest in the music game genre.
Despite Activision dissolving the Guitar Hero franchise earlier this week, Rock Band developer Harmonix has stated that "the beat of Rock Band marches on". In a post on the official Rock Band forums, Harmonix manager of communications John Drake said that the company was "sad to hear yesterday that Activision was discontinuing development on Guitar Hero." He added "Our thoughts are with those who are losing their jobs, and we wish them the best of luck." Concerning the future of Harmonix's own Rock Band franchise, he noted that while "the discontinuation of Guitar Hero is discouraging news for fans of the band game genre", Harmonix will continue to invest in the genre. "Harmonix and Rock Band continue to push beyond simple performance simulation to pioneer new approaches to music gaming" said Drake. He cited the inclusion of Pro Mode in Rock Band 3, along with the upcoming release of the fully functional guitar that doubles up as a Rock Band Pro controller. The Rock Band Network is also relaunching soon, with support for keyboards, pro drums and vocal harmonies. Drake said that the music genre requires "constant reinvention", and Harmonix are ready to "embrace that call". "In short, the beat of Rock Band marches on." said Drake. "We’re continuing to invest in the franchise and the brand that we have built, and will do our best to serve all loyal band game fans. "It’s been a wild battle of the bands since 2007, but we respect and appreciate all of the hard work and innovation of our peers who have shared the music gaming space with us, and we look forward to rocking in the future." Industry analysts weighed in today on why Activision decided now was a good time to pull the plug on Guitar Hero. Eric Handler of MKM Partners said "It had a great run, but it also had a steep fall and the customer demand just isn't there". Harmonix was hit by staff cuts recently, with about 12-15 percent of the studio's staff, which stands at about 240 people, affected by the restructuring.

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